Retail Design Student Awards past entrants: Roxanne Stone

Seven months out of college, Roxanne Stone has already achieved her ‘dream job’.  As a junior designer at branded interiors consultancy 20.20, she has worked on the revamp of London’s Odeon Leicester Square, Tui cruise ships, Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in North London and an Ugg store.

She attributes her success to the Retail Design Student Awards - run by Retail Design World and Retail Expo - having been a runner-up on an Adidas brief in 2017. Then in her second year studying interior design at Middlesex University, she was offered a two-week paid placement by 20.20 creative director Jon Lee, who had mentored her year for the competition. ‘I didn’t know the design world when I was at college,’ she says. ‘I wouldn’t have known where to look for placements.’

That placement extended into a summer job and then a part-time post while she completed her studies. She gained a first-class honours degree in summer 2018 and joined 20.20 full-time.

‘Through the awards we met a variety of talented students, but Roxy stood out,’ says Lee.  ‘The enthusiasm she brought was infectious and her raw talent was inspiring. She fitted the values 20.20 believes in which made her transition into a full-time member of our team seamless.’

Roxanne Stone
Roxanne Stone

Interior design seems a natural choice for Roxanne.  At home in Dunstable she shared a room with a sibling and loved creating imaginary environments through computer game The Sims. ‘I always dreamed of having my own room,’ she says. But a school friend suggested it as a career.

‘I’d done art and textiles at school and was going to do fine art, until my friend mentioned interiors,’ she says. It meant, she adds, that she viewed everything she studied on her foundation course at Central Bedfordshire College, from life drawing to textiles, in an interiors context.

‘I wanted to do residential interiors and wasn’t crazy about retail,’ she says. But the Adidas brief for a store to attract pre-teens was part of the Middlesex course so she decided to knuckle down and nail it.

‘I wanted to get exposure that would lead to an internship.’ she says. ‘Everyone has a degree, but not everyone gets exposure. My other work suffered because of the extra effort I put in, but I did enough to get a first. I believe in quality over quantity.’ And that has paid off for her.

Roxanne's entry for the Adidas brief of the Retail Design Student Awards in 2017
Roxanne's entry for the Adidas brief of the Retail Design Student Awards in 2017

20.20 runs a tight ship and Roxanne welcomes the responsibilities this brings. She works with the head of interiors and a middleweight designer – with input from Lee. ‘I’ve never been the tea girl like some of my friends who joined bigger groups,’ she says.  

Lee, a mentor and judge on the awards in the past, has the last word. ‘The RDW competition is the best and probably only way to connect to, up-and-coming talent and get the chance to nurture their progress. Allowing students the exposure to the industry is essential,’ he says.  ‘The fact the brief is set by real clients gives them first-hand experience of how a real brief works.

‘I have found it very rewarding to be part of this process. Mentoring students on their journey gives them a completely different experience and a window into the real world.’